Modern mines are far removed from the kind of collieries of England’s history – for a start the technological advances that we have all enjoyed in our own lives have had a positive impact in mining environments as well.
They are cleaner, safer to work in and more sympathetic to their environment. Much of the equipment is computer controlled which means it can be operated remotely, something which has had a significant impact on safety for those working in mines. Another element which has been improved is the ventilation of mines, which are fitted with systems to keep large volumes of fresh air flowing, which makes for a more pleasant working environment.
The mine that we are looking to create will lead the UK coal industry into the mid-21st Century, utilising modern, well proven mining methods to achieve a steady-state production of 3.2 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) Run-of-Mine. Run-out and Pocket extraction will be the chosen mining method as this is a proven, highly versatile coal mining method that takes advantage of advancements in mining technology to mitigate risks associated with the Cumbrian Coal fields.
The technique includes:
- Bolter Miners develop the gateroads, for the panel
- A Bolter Miner will then drive a run-out roadway
- A Continuous Miner subsequently cuts chevron cut pockets into the pillars and the roof is supported
- Shuttle cars continuously move coal from the respective miners to the Feeder Breaker
- Once coal has passed through the Feeder Breaker it falls onto the conveyor belt to be taken to surface
These are examples of the types of machinery that will be used on site.